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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bank

Other Alternatives

Most of us are willing to eliminate hassle by choosing the best bank for our needs, making compromises if we must and getting back to our lives. But if you enjoy playing with money and don't mind putting in the effort, there are some less typical options you may consider beyond converting to online banking.

For example, some high rollers use their stock brokerage as their main bank. You can use a VISA debit card at the ATM, write checks on your account and sometimes even borrow against your holdings. If you use your money market account for checking, you can get much higher interest than with a regular checking or savings account. Brokerages will be happy to tell you all the products and financial solutions they can offer you: It's entirely possible this could be a real solution.

Another option is splitting your accounts across several banks. If you like the features of a big-bank checking account but aren't satisfied with its savings rates, you can always take that money to a credit union or online bank. Do you like the rates on CDs or other savings products, but find other aspects of an institution lacking? There's no reason you can't have both.

And don't forget regional institutions outside your local area! Out-of-state small banks are easy to research and often just as convenient to use as a bank that's close by.